You guys have been so helpful to me in the past, and I'm back with yet another car problem.
I have a 1997 Mercedes C-280. About once a month for the past 4 or 5 months, my car has stopped no warning, either when I am sitting in traffic on the freeway, slowing down off an exit, or just sitting there when my car is idle.
Usually, I have taken it to two different places one being the original Mercedes Benz dealer after this happens. Both of them have put the car on the diagnostic machine, and they are unable to produce a code which shows the problems. Basically, they have no idea what's wrong with it!
The weird thing is that the car always starts back up at some point. A couple of times, when I've been waiting for the tow truck, I've just tried to turn the engine over and all of a sudden it will start up.
Two other times, it has worked for me to get the battery jumped although this did not work just the last time this happened, which was about a week ago. So, it wouldn't "jump" but about an hour later when I tried to start it up, it did!!!!
This is crazy. It's especially frustrating that they can't find anything wrong. It's scary that this just happens at any point I seem to slow down or sit too long. I now try to keep the heat off and not turn on the radio or anything, just because I can't figure out what it draining the battery, if that's even the problem. It seems to me that there is almost an electrical short or something though I'm not sure why the "car people" can't figure it out.
Oh yes, one more thing which may or may not be important. A couple of years ago when I brought the car used, they suggested that I have my Camshaft Sensor (?) repaired. They told me that if I did not get it repaired something similar to this would happen basically, it would drain something, and my car would shut off without warning. I've had them look into this, but they can't seem to find any relationship between that and what is happening now. Any help for a girl?
I feel for you, I know how electrical problems can be very frustrating. Trust me when I say that it is equally frustrating for the technician as well. Sometimes cars do all sorts of wacky things for their owners, but act perfectly normal when you bring it to the dealer. The fact that they haven't found a code is odd, because your car is equipped with OBD-2. This highly sophisticated on-board computer should store a code anytime the car does something unusual. This might be too easy, but have they checked the alternator? When a car dies while running it wouldn't be the battery I'd be concerned with, but the alternator. If the alternator is ok, then it does sound like it could be a position sensor of some sort. But again, this would most likely store a code. If an authorized Mercedes dealer can't figure it out, then it must be a tough problem. My only other advice would be seek out a blog where other Mercedes owners write down problems they have and see if anyone has something similar. You might find someone who has figured it out! I'm sorry I can't be of more help.
Best of luck,
〉 Answered on Mar 11th, 2008 by Jennifer Frey, Automotive Service Writer and Technician at AskPatty.com
This does sound frustrating. I would suggest that you bring the vehicle to the dealership and have them keep the car until it shuts off for them. Sometimes, it can be very difficult to diagnose a problem if the problem is not currently present. You may have to leave the vehicle for a few days until they can recreate the problem. Good luck.
〉 Answered on Mar 11th, 2008 by Suzanne Grego, Technician at City of Philadelphia Fleet Management